Definitions and Further Information
Fundamental Research Exclusion (FRE)
By definition, fundamental research means that no publication or citizenship restrictions are accepted from any sponsor (industry or government agency) by any means (prime contract or flow-down), explicitly or unofficially. A publication restriction is one in which a sponsor requires withholding of research results for any reason other than a) to make sure that no proprietary data provided to the PI is disclosed in the published research results or; b) the time necessary to file a patent application. A sponsor’s general requirement that publication be withheld “pending review” or review for a period of time beyond what is reasonably required to filter out proprietary data would constitute a publication restriction and disqualify the project from FRE protection. A citizenship restriction limits research participation to U.S. persons or reserves the right to determine which researchers, by nationality, can participate in the project.
Information becomes “published” or considered as “ordinarily published” when it is generally accessible to the interested public through a variety of ways. This includes publication in periodicals, books, print, electronic or any other media available for general distribution to any member of the public or to those that would be interested in the material in a scientific or engineering discipline. Published or ordinarily published material also includes the following: readily available at libraries open to the public; issued patents; and releases at an open conference, meeting, seminar, trade show, or other open gathering. A conference is considered “open” if all technically qualified members of the public are eligible to attend and attendees are permitted to take notes or otherwise make a personal record (but not necessarily a recording) of the proceedings and presentations.